Iconographic representations of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda

Through the use of popular statuary, devotional pictures and calendars available in the markets and temple stalls of Calcutta, I compare the ways in which the legacy of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda has been preserved in popular symbolism with the ‘photo-iconographic' tradition which has been fos...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of contemporary religion
Main Author: Beckerlegge, Gwilym 1949-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [1996]
In:Journal of contemporary religion
Year: 1996, Volume: 11, Issue: 3, Pages: 319-335
Online Access: Resolving-System
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Summary:Through the use of popular statuary, devotional pictures and calendars available in the markets and temple stalls of Calcutta, I compare the ways in which the legacy of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda has been preserved in popular symbolism with the ‘photo-iconographic' tradition which has been fostered within the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. I argue that links between Ramakrishna and the Kali tradition remain strong in the popular imagination, as expressed through popular art in Calcutta, and that Swami Vivekananda often appears as a more peripheral figure in settings which include the goddess Kali. In this respect, I argue that such popular depictions of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda are more in accord with the conclusions reached by critical scholars who have distanced Vivekananda from Ramakrishna's passionate involvement in the Kali cult, than with depictions of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda within the Ramakrishna Math and Mission which stress the novelty of Ramakrishna, and the continuity between his teaching and that of Vivekananda.
ISSN:1469-9419
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of contemporary religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/13537909608580778